Market Access Tops Chile Trade Mission Talks

Market access was top of mind for USDA Trade Undersecretary Alexis Taylor as she met with Chilean government officials this week. This year marks 20 years of a free trade agreements between the US and Chile. And Taylor says the two countries have both benefited from the deal.

A consumer is able to access those fresh fruit products much longer in the United States. It’s actually oftentimes good for our own industry because it keeps consumer demand and interest strong throughout the year. And it’s good for your producers who are able to access this US market

But she says she is concerned about a recent pact between Chile and the European Union. That includes geographic indicators for dairy terms that have been a hallmark for EU deals around the world. Taylor says the issue was one of her priorities on the mission.

These cheese names and market access was granted to us under the free trade agreement. And we’ve been able to access this market for 20 years with that trade agreement. And today that access is looking to be taken away because of the agreement that Chile has negotiated with the European Union. We have to be able to resolve this in a way that protects these generic common terms that we’ve had been able to export and market to Chile and consumers.

As for a resolution. Taylor says the ball is in the Chilean government’s court.

We’re hopeful we can actually resolve this. We have worked very hard with Chile on getting to the place we are on a systems approach. But the being able to reprioritize Chile really resolved resides I think with the Chilean government today.

Taylor is leading the USDA delegation of nearly 50 government, industry and commodity group leaders.